🌿Some reflections on the story of Ruth and relocation...
Ruth the Moabite.
Shavuot is the holiday that reminds me the most what immigration to another country and integration into it is all about.
Beyond this wonderful story of Ruth that teaches us so many things, like loyalty and determination, I want to focus on two words:
Ruth the Moabite.
🌿This is the whole immigration story.
Ruth moved to the land of Canaan, to a different culture. She is the great-grandmother of David who was the first King of Israel. He established Jerusalem as a religious, political and economic centre.
And Ruth? Ruth remains the Moabite (Ruth 2, 2) in the Jewish collective memory.
🌿My interpretation relates to the whole issue of immigration:
Is it really possible to be part of the new place?
When leaving for a new place, something from the country of origin remains with us. A certain cultural aspect: language, customs, clothing, accent, etc.
Ruth's attempt to assimilate among the inhabitants of the land (her marriage to Boaz for example) did still not remove her from her land of origin. And she is defined as such.
In the book of Ruth we see that both Naomi and Ruth carried something from the land of origin. They didn't fight it. Naomi returned to the land of Canaan and Ruth continued to be mentioned as Moab.
Another aspect is the integration time. Ruth's great-grandson became the King of Israel. This suggests that the process of full integration is not fast. Changes take time. This is also one of the messages that can be learned from Abraham our ancestor. In fact, after whom is the Jewish people named? After Yaakov. Abraham came out of Ur Kasdim with a completely different culture than the one he grew up in. Jacob, his grandson, was already a monotheist with no traces of his great-grandfather's culture.
And here an important question arises as to how much of the original culture we want to preserve in our descendants, but that is for another post.
Changing requires effort and a lot of patience...
Share with me, what do you think?
Dr. Efrat Tzadik
Specialist in relocation and integration. Certified coach.
"Finding the home away from home"